The announcement last week of an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 on the parameters that would form the basis of a final nuclear agreement was a historic breakthrough. If thedetails outlined by the Obama administration hold, the final deal that is due to be negotiated by June 30, will have achieved the objective of creating conditions that will deter Iran from attempting a breakout – overt or covert – to a nuclear weapon. The concessions made by Iran at its known facilities will keep it at a breakout time of a year or longer for at least ten years, making it impossible for Iran to use those facilities to build a nuclear weapon without being quickly caught . And the inspections and verification regime that will last 25 years or longer will dramatically reduce Iran’s ability to covertly build a nuclear weapon.
However, the distance between parameters and a final agreement remains significant. Over the next three months the administration will have to deal with three major challenges as it attempts to finalize an agreement: (1) a skeptical U.S. Congress; (2) nervous Middle Eastern allies; and (3) the negotiations themselves.
Read the full op-ed at War On The Rocks.
More from CNAS
CommentarySharper: Global Coronavirus Response
As regions across the United States enforce states of emergency and a growing list of countries restrict travel, close schools, and quarantine citizens, the economic and human...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
CommentaryThe American Public Wants a Sustainable Middle East Policy
After the U.S. strike on Qasem Soleimani, Americans feared the United States was on the brink of war with Iran. “World War III draft” memes circulated around the internet, and...
By Kaleigh Thomas & Emma Moore
CommentaryThe Iranian Missile Strike Did Far More Damage Than Trump Admits
Over 100 American soldiers have been treated for traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile strike on Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. The strike came in retaliation f...
By Loren DeJonge Schulman & Paul Scharre
CommentarySending Troops Back to the Middle East Won’t Stop Iran
The Trump administration’s decision to kill Qassam Soleimani is the latest in an escalatory “maximum pressure” Iran strategy that is shifting American foreign policy attention...
By Chris Dougherty & Kaleigh Thomas